35 Days of Celebration: 05

35 Days of Celebration: Day 05I’ve decided rather than buying an ornament for this year I would decorate one that would represent this year. This year I, somewhat randomly, decided to move out of my apartment and buy I house. From committing to the decision in April it took less than a month until I made an offer on a house. Six weeks later I closed. Two months later I moved in. All the while there has been a lot of work happening. Whether it be packing my stuff, moving my stuff or working on refinishing the house it has certainly been a major moment this year. Naturally I let it be reflected in my ornament.

Ornament 2013Painted Red and gold (like the house), a key, the house number (111), and a snake. Why the snake? My yard was a bit overrun. Apparently four years of in-habitation makes for prime real estate to these reptiles. They have since mended their thinking, or perished. Cheery right? But it wouldn’t be Slytherin house without a few snakes. Granted the coloring is more representative of Gryffindor. I myself tend to reflect the values of Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff though, so really it’s just Hogwarts (Or I just wish it was). However I digress, the real point is that now I have an ornament that will forever reflect my 2013.

Until next time
~ Q

35 Days of Celebration
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35 Days of Celebration: 04

35 Days of Celebration: Day 04Last Christmas I was fortunate enough to be given a handful of holiday movies. This year I decided to toss them all in a bag and pull them out at random for movie nights. Today’s movie? Jack Frost (1979 version)

Once upon a snowflake…

Although it doesn’t mention Christmas specifically a whole lot, it’s still a Holiday staple. It focuses on Winter (and it’s ending) as a whole, but there is one Christmas scene. I really like the ‘dream present’ song/scene. The concept of wrapping a present up nice and neat and leaving the contents up to the imagination is quite appealing. Sure there isn’t anything actually inside the box, but it’d be cool if that’s how things actually worked. I particularly like that Elisa’s dream present is a magic wand. Clearly she is on vacation from Hogwarts….or perhaps she is a Durmstrang girl since it gives the impression of being located up North.

There is something to be mentioned about the animation style. I love how movies use to have physical props and settings (like the original Star Wars). Call me sentimental, and although today’s effects are top notch and seamless, I just enjoy the old classics so much. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why I like vinyl records. There is a quality within them that digital just can’t quite capture, no matter how hard it tries. However with digital you get quite a few more options. How I digress.

Long story short I watched Jack Frost and it will continue to be a staple in my holiday movie options. I always feel a bit sad for Jack. He’s so naive thinking Elsa is truly in love with him. She loves him the way I love, I don’t know, egg nog. I like it a lot, but obviously I am not going to marry it. What a harsh lesson for him to learn. Especially when he risks so much for her. A good man, that Jack Frost.

Ah Snip, I can’t do anything right as a human! ― Jack Frost

Oh Jack, you and me both.

Until next time
~ Q

35 Days of Celebration
01 | 02 | 03

35 Days of Celebration: 03

35 Days of Celebration: Day 03This is going to be a mix in progress. I do love spotify, it makes making mixes so easy. A little too easy though, my mix is forever long. However I have all month to narrow it down! I’m also quite excited because my mother has been going through some old boxes and found a bunch of records. Now I also have something to play on the record player for the season including Bing Crosby Christmas, Alvin and the Chipmunks (volume one and two), and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer to name a few. Between the records and my digital mix I will not run short on options. By the end of the month I’ll also have heard a lot of new songs. For now though I have a long digital mix, and although it is really long now (and has quite a few duplicates) by the end of the month it will be widdled and full of my favorites. If you’re interested here is a link to the spotify mix: Christmas 2013. Now I’m all set for Christmas music throughout the month of December.

Until next time
~ Q

35 Days of Celebration
01 | 02

35 Days of Celebration: 02

35 Days of Celebration: Day 02Uff da! I am so full I am honestly surprised nothing has burst yet. However it was only the first day of having the extended family in town. There are still two more days to try, although traditionally Sunday is extremely low key. The day started with me turning on the car and hearing the Black Eyed Peas song I Gotta Feeling.

Tonight’s gonna be a good night…

How right the song was. SunriseOn my way to the parents I was greeted with a gorgeous sunrise which helped put me in a good mind set to undertake a new adventure: shopping on Friday. This doesn’t happen. Ever. I don’t really love to shop competitively so Black Friday shopping has never really been my thing. However since the stores we were going to weren’t popular targets for most, it wasn’t such an overwhelming notion to try.

The trip was spear-headed by my oldest sister and her quest to get a hair straightener. Luckily the store she was going to was right next to both a grocery store (since we needed some more staples) and Hobby Lobby. Clearly not the standard stops for the avid shopper. We had a rather successful outing in which we all chose our separate colors of wrapping paper, I claimed black and white chevrons myself. Then we headed home after making one pit stop so I could get a tree stand. Oh how the details elude me – I had a tree skirt but no stand….priorities. Once we got home we continued to hang out until my mother’s extended family started trickling in.

My mother’s two sisters and brother (and their families) come down every year for the weekend. This year was no different. What was different was that before the meal there were house tours and appetizers at my place. I headed home around two with every intention of starting the pinwheels, the warm appetizer I was serving. However as mentioned before sometimes my priorities are a bit out of whack. Instead I decided I really really needed to get my tree stand sorted out. After working on that for ten minutes I finally mentally berated myself enough to get the appetizers prepped and in the oven before continuing with the madness. After fighting with the bolts I was able to get the tree in the stand quite easily…crooked, as my darling sister later pointed out, but in none the less. I was a bit more focused on watering my dying tree and since it’s not even December I wont even begin to worry about how the tree looks.

The evening continued and after we all went through the house and chatted we returned to my parent’s home so the eating could start. And once it started it kept going and going.

Eat through the pain!

Now, five hours later, and I’m still somewhat regretting my food choices. I started off well, but then quickly crumbled. My family knows how to cook and there is just something about Thanksgiving food. Perhaps the fact it’s comprised of the best comfort foods.

The "kids" table (with the adults' table in the background) - I love panorama shots, it results in the best distortions.

The “kids” table (with the adults’ table in the background) – I love panorama shots, it results in the best distortions.

We managed to get everyone off to their various shelters for the night and things are winding down. Which is probably for the best because we all have been fighting off a mass food coma. I can hardly wait for tomorrow for all the games and catching up that will occur. Also, of course, for more food – it’s soups day!!

Until next time
~ Q

35 Days of Celebration
01

35 Days of Celebration: 01

35 Days of Celebration: Day 01It’s here! The best part? All the time I’ll get to spend with friends and family over the next month. One of the best parts of the holidays is that all my friends that have moved away come home to visit their families. More often then not I get to see them for a cup of coffee at least. Anyway, the season has started and our family kicked it off well. Our Thanksgiving is never really traditional. We (my immediate family) usually have a laid back Thursday since my mom’s family comes down for the entire weekend. This year we had breakfast for dinner before heading out to go Christmas Tree Hunting. I got to help my sister make dinner, under her very watchful eye, which was fun.

What are you doing? This is a very critical moment, the meat is sticking together! ― Bailey

This year was a bit different in that 1) my nephew got to come with us on the hunt (he’s three) and 2) I also had the fun of picking out a tree for my house too. We had a very successful hunt and the three of us (me and my sisters are always the ones that get to pick the tree) were able to agree on a tree in record time. It was quite fun having the whole family along, even though nephew wasn’t super helpful on the narrowing down process. He liked all the trees, but since we couldn’t get them all it was down to the three of us. Christmas Tree Hunting I have an inkling that as the kid gets older his opinion will start to be a factor. Time will tell on that though. So as day one winds down, with all the fun I’ve had with my family so far, I know this next month (and change) will be lots of fun.

Until next time
~ Q

The holidays are coming and I’m getting excited!

35 Days of CelebrationIntroducing my plan for the 35 Days of Celebration! Last year I almost made it through blogging about my 41 Days of Celebration, but towards the end got a little too preoccupied. Last year (which can be found here, here, here or here) I did a LOT of cooking with a classic, baking, & watching Doctor Who (which is NOT a bad way to spend the season). This year will be slightly different, but still some of the same. Now since I didn’t quite get all of the days posted last year I’ll see if I can make it through this time around. Once again have a LOT planned. Something everyday from Thanksgiving (November 28) through New Year’s Day. This is merely an introductory post, so if you are looking for a list of Holiday ideas (like I was) I hope this serves as a good reference and generates some fun ideas. Here are the days they I’ve compiled from various blogs and sites as I have them planned out right now. Granted these are as if I were to live a simple hermit life, which, as a lack of posts over the last six months implies, I don’t quite live anymore.

The list:

  1. Go Christmas Tree Hunting & Thanksgiving
  2. Atkins Thanksgiving (extended family)
  3. Create a Christmas Music Mix (to be listening to for the month)
  4. Holiday Movie Night #1
  5. Wrap Christmas Presents
  6. Make a Gingerbread (or Graham Cracker) House
  7. Holiday Movie Night #2 & Make paper chains/snowflakes
  8. Make Homemade Ornaments
  9. Decorate Christmas Tree
  10. Decorate House
  11. French Toast & Hot Chocolate for Dinner
  12. Design Paper Nativity Scene
  13. Holiday Movie Night #3
  14. Design & Mail Out Christmas Cards
  15. Bake Christmas Cookies
  16. Decorate Christmas Cookies
  17. Make a Fort & Holiday Movie Night #4
  18. Red & Green Food Day
  19. Go Ice Skating
  20. Make a Snow globe
  21. Make Stocking Stuffers
  22. Cook Christmas Fudge
  23. Holiday Movie Night #5 & Sleepover Under the Christmas Tree
  24. Candlelight Fancy Dinner
  25. Make Dipped Pretzels
  26. Holiday Movie Night #6 (I have a lot of holiday movies thanks to my family)
  27. Read the Christmas Story
  28. Christmas Day with the Family
  29. Chestnuts Over an Open Fire (Marshmallows too!!)
  30. Hot Chocolate & Candy Canes
  31. Make Hot Chocolate Balls
  32. Holiday Movie Night #7
  33. Make Homemade Mulled Wine
  34. Holiday Movie Night #8 & Make New Year’s Resolution
  35. Take Down Decorations While Having a Christmas Music Dance Party

That’s the plan, but I’m sure that my friends and family will alter and enhance the plan. In fact I know of a work tradition (going on the tour of homes) that is missing. Oh well, looks like I’ll double up more.

Until next time
~ Q